SPENCER Dinwiddie’s double-double featured a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds, and the undermanned Washington Wizards continued their best start in seven years with a 104-92 victory over the host Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Washington played without leading scorer Bradley Beal (personal reasons) following the passing of his grandmother earlier in the week. Aaron Holiday moved into the starting lineup against Orlando and had 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting as the Wizards extended their winning streak to four games.
Washington’s Montrezl Harrell had another productive game off the bench with 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Injured forward Davis Bertans (ankle) also missed his fifth straight game for the Wizards, who totaled 21 of their 39 bench points in the second half.
The Southeast Division-leading Wizards, who kept their fourth straight opponent under 95 points, have the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference (.750). And their nine wins in 12 games this season equals the start of Washington’s 2014-15 team.
Kyle Kuzma scored 12 consecutive points in the third quarter as Washington carried an 82-59 lead into the final period. He finished with 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and 10 rebounds, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 10 points and Dinwiddie chipped in six assists.
Washington shot 12-for-35 from beyond the arc and 42-for-84 from the field.
Orlando ended a five-game homestand with just one victory. Wendell Carter, Jr., who exited in the third quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Brooklyn due to a left-eye abrasion, donned protective goggles Saturday and finished with 17 points.
Cole Anthony (eight assists) made 11 of 12 free throws and had 22 points for the Magic, who shot 34 percent (31-for-92) from the field. Mo Bamba’s double-double comprised 14 points and 17 rebounds.
Orlando rookie Jalen Suggs, who scored eight points on 4-for-10 shooting, rolled his right ankle during the opening minute of the fourth quarter and did not return.
The Wizards had an early 20-0 run, building a 34-18 lead on Dinwiddie’s jumper with 9:30 left in the second quarter. The Magic, who went scoreless during an 8:23 span in the first half, responded with a 15-4 burst and closed to 38-33 behind R.J. Hampton’s six points and Anthony’s 3-point play. — Reuters